Kiernan Shipka has been dancing. The 18-year-old actress recently posted an Instagram video of herself deadpanning in oversize sunglasses while boogying to Drake’s “In My Feelings.”
“We all have bodies — why not move them?” she says with a laugh. Her almost half a million followers are down to dance with her, especially since the announcement that she nabbed the lead role on Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, out this fall. The show gives the ’90s cult sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch a dark, Riverdale-ian treatment, attracting an enthusiastic young crowd that’s new to the Mad Men alum — and she’s leaning into it.
She débuted on the series as Sally Draper at age 7 and grew up steeped in selfie culture, so Shipka barely remembers not having a camera pointed at her. But while the Internet has served as her real-time childhood photo reel (a fact she handles with wit, posting sassy little-Kiernan memes), Shipka had to come into her own offline. “Finding myself and figuring out who I am as a person — most of that happened away from the spotlight,” she says.
When it comes to social media, “I like to be silly. That’s my golden rule.” Her cheeky posts often feature her dog, her food (“all I really care about”), and her cast goofing on set. There’s nothing wrong with a sprinkle of narcissism in your teen spirit either: “If I have makeup on or I’m feeling extra fly,” the camera comes out, she admits. When online trolls do come for her, “I feel like I’m armed and ready,” Shipka says. But her DMs consist mainly of promposals and have even helped her meet her coven of closest acting friends “IRL, as the kids say.”
Shipka went full Method during our fashion shoot, snapping pics on the iPhone that was handed to her on set. “I wasn’t gonna fake it; it had to be really authentic,” she says wryly. “I don’t know whose phone I was using, but they are blessed with a lot of my selfies.”